What Is Unit 5 of AP World History?

Are you currently enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) World History and wondering what Unit 5 entails? In this article, we’ll break down the key topics and events covered in this unit to help you better understand the material.

The Industrial Revolution

One of the major themes of Unit 5 is the Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain during the late 18th century and transformed the world economy. The Industrial Revolution saw the introduction of new manufacturing processes, such as textile production using machines, that greatly increased efficiency and output. This allowed for mass production of goods and led to economic growth in industrialized nations.

Effects on Society

The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on society as well. It brought about urbanization, as people flocked to cities for work opportunities.

This led to overcrowding, poor living conditions, and increased pollution. The rise of factories also led to labor exploitation, with workers often enduring long hours and low pay.


Another major theme of Unit 5 is imperialism, which refers to a country’s policy of extending its power through colonization or use of military force. During this time period, European powers sought to expand their influence globally through colonization and economic domination.

Effects on Colonized Nations

Imperialism had significant consequences for colonized nations. Many were forced into submission by European powers and suffered under oppressive rule. Additionally, imperialism contributed to social inequality within colonized societies.

The World Wars

Unit 5 also covers both World War I and World War II. These global conflicts had far-reaching effects on both Europe and the rest of the world.

Cause of World War I

World War I was sparked by a combination of factors including political alliances between countries, militarism (the belief in building up strong armed forces), and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary.

Effects of World War II

World War II had even more significant consequences, including the Holocaust, the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan, and the eventual formation of the United Nations. It also marked a shift in global power dynamics, as Europe’s dominance was challenged by rising powers such as the United States and Soviet Union.

  • In conclusion, Unit 5 of AP World History covers a wide range of topics that are pivotal to understanding global history during this time period. From the Industrial Revolution to imperialism to both World War I and II, these events continue to shape our world today.

So if you’re preparing for an upcoming exam or just want to expand your knowledge, be sure to review these key themes and their effects on society.